Thayer Academy has hired Connie Yepez as its next director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, effective July 1.
Yepez currently holds a similar position at the Park School in Brookline, where she has worked the past five years.
“Ms. Yepez will reach out over the course of the summer to a broad range of community members as she endeavors to learn even more about Thayer,” said Head of School Ted Koskores ‘70 P ‘10, ‘13 in a May 27 email announcing the decision, “and I am wholly confident that she will draw upon the strengths of our school culture and her own pronounced passion and purpose to advance the important values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
A national search led to the review of dozens of profiles of qualified professionals and extensive interviews with candidates. Yepez’s experience furthering cultural competency through professional development and curriculum, advising student and parent affinity groups, organizing community celebrations and reflections, and helping to shape the Park School’s strategic DEI plan were all points in her favor, as was a visit to campus for a full day of interviews and a virtual meeting with faculty and staff.
In addition to the Park School, Yepez has worked at Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, Noble and Greenough, Concord Academy, A Better Chance, and Groton School, from which she also graduated.
Koskores, himself a member of the Search Advisory Committee, called the search process “markedly comprehensive” and praised the committee for its rigor in vetting and interviewing candidates. Incoming Head of School Chris Fortunato P ‘26, ‘28, who begins his duties July 1, served on the committee with Koskores, as did the following: Upper School Counselor Amanda Acutt; Upper School English Faculty and Diversity Coordinator Clarque Brown; Trustee and Board DEI Committee Chair Donavan Brown ‘01; Upper School History Faculty and Anti-Racism Course Co-Coordinator Matt Dunne; Development Director Melissa Tuthill Forger ‘92, P ‘25; Middle School Director Galen Hamann; Middle School Art Faculty and DEI Coordinator Destiny Palmer; Upper School Director of Studies, History Faculty, and Anti-Racism Course Co-Coordinator Lynette Sumpter; Upper School Director Highley Thompson P ‘20, ‘23; and Admissions Director Jon White P ‘09, ‘11, ‘15.
Throughout this process, said Koskores, the committee drew upon the perspectives of students, parents/guardians, faculty, staff, trustees, and alumni to identify those qualities which would best reflect the goals of the Thayer community, including the objectives articulated in the Academy’s DEI Plan and Strategic Plan for Racial Equity and Justice.
Yepez will succeed current DEI Director Jenn Welch, who recently accepted a position as the next admissions director of Marin Country Day School in Corte Madera, California.